|Unification's Moon Offers Social Message: 'Time for
America to awaken,' he tells SLC crowd
||Sunday, March 11,
The Rev. Sun
Myung Moon spoke about social unity Saturday. (Jenna
Isaacson/The Salt Lake
THE SALT LAKE
The Rev. Sun Myung
Moon has joined forces with dozens of Christian clergy to save
the world -- and especially the United States -- from moral
"I have transcended race,
idealogy and national boundaries to pursue a movement for one
world under God," Moon told more than 700 people gathered at
the Hilton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday night.
"The time has come for America to
awaken once again," he said in a prepared speech he has
repeated in cities across the nation. "It is time for the
country as a whole to create a new movement to build true
parents, true families, a true country and a true world
centered on God."
Moon is touring the
country, the guest of mostly black churches, pitching social
rather than theological unity.
Unification Church is "moving into the mainstream," said the
Rev. David Carlson, associate professor of world religion at
the Unification Theological Seminary, in an interview with The
Salt Lake Tribune. Carlson is traveling with Moon.
Utah's only Unification congregation
has nine families and the church's total U.S. membership is
between 1,500 and 3,000 members, Carlson said.
Rather than seek new members, Carlson
said, the church is building political and spiritual
"This is a prophetic message
for America at this time," he said.
Though there were Catholics, Baptists, Buddhists and Muslims
among the Hilton dinner crowd, it was clear that much of the
message was directed at members of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.
master of ceremonies, the Rev. Michael Jenkins, president of
Moon's Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA,
praised the LDS Church for supporting "family values."
"We stand together against divorce and
the breakdown of the family," Jenkins said.
"All world religions began with great
suffering," he said, comparing Moon's imprisonment by North
Korean communists to the persecution of LDS founder Joseph
Smith, who was "a martyr."
Covey pitched his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
and the Goodman Family, a Mormon singing group, provided
several musical numbers.
Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said he had attended a
leadership meeting in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the
Unification Church. "It was like [LDS] General Conference for
politicians," said Stephensen in his introduction of Moon. "It
Stephensen said that
although Moon is not a member of the LDS Church, he is "a true
He then quoted the
LDS Church's 13th article of faith, which says that members
seek "anything virtuous, lovely, or . . . praiseworthy" and
said that Moon wants the same things.
short video outlined the details of Moon's life from "hearing
the call from God" on a Korean mountaintop at age 16 to his
work in the United States during the last two decades to
presiding over mass wedding ceremonies in New York City's
Madison Square Garden.
As the video
ended, Moon strolled confidently to the podium and began
speaking rapidly in Korean. "Utah is well-known as the home of
the Mormons," said the energetic 81-year old. "But how many of
you believe in God? Do you want to meet God?"
Moon then launched into a 50-minute
discussion of the Garden of Eden, occasionally breaking into
English to give his hoarse translator, Peter Kim, a chance to
With animated voice
inflections, tongue clicking, scowls and even spitting for
emphasis, he posed question after question to the audience,
asking for an enthusiastic "yes" or "no."
"Why do women need men? Is it for
money? Power? What?" he demanded.
"Because we all need human love!" he bellowed. "No matter how
famous you may be, you are only half a human being."
Because of Adam and Eve's "fall" from
God's presence and Jesus's crucifixion, which they believe was
not part of God's plan, followers of Moon believe he is a
"third Adam," sent to restore God's kingdom on Earth. They
view Moon and his wife as the world's "True Parents."
For now, though, preaching Unification
theology is secondary to Moon's mission to solve the family,
moral, youth and racial problems plaguing this nation.
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